When we look at mindset, sometimes people aren’t really sure what mindset actually is or what it refers to. Essentially your mindset is the combination of your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes towards yourself and the world; that in turn dictate your responses, interpretations, experiences and actions. So when you’re feeling trapped in stories of the past, letting fear hold you back from moving forward, feeling overwhelmed or unworthy, lacking confidence or belief in your abilities – these are all aspects of your mindset and are obviously areas that you want to take control of and shift out of so that you can achieve your goals and move forward in life. These are just some of the areas we cover in my new course Master Your Mindset…
So what do I mean when I say you are MORE than just your mind. Well, what I mean is that we have a sense of existence or soul or whatever you want to call it, beyond our mind. Now this can be quite a bizarre concept, but when you get your mind around it – no pun intended – it can actually be such a powerful and relieving concept that can help to pull you out of your negative thought patterns.
So the way that I like to think about it and explain it is to think of your mind like any other organ in your body. So we have a heart, a liver, a stomach etc and we have a brain. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m sure you don’t consider your stomach to be the ruler and controller of your life and existence and let yourself get so absorbed in the feedback from your stomach that you believe in the messages above all else. I mean you might if you have any sort of struggle with food, however I would debate that those issues also stem from your mind. But you get my drift, we don’t consider other organs in our body to be the complete manifestation of our life so why do we so wholeheartedly believe the messages and feedback from our mind and let it signify our complete existence?
If you can move into a process of stepping back – and this could be done in meditation if that’s more helpful – but a process of stepping back almost like you’re watching yourself from afar. Then being able to see your brain and the feedback (or in this case thoughts/beliefs) that are coming from it and seeing that feedback in the same way as you would the hunger pains from your stomach or the need to go to the toilet from your bladder or the need to more air from your lungs. All of these organs give off feedback that we can CHOOSE to respond to or not. So in the same way, we have the CHOICE to respond (and I specifically use the word respond and not react because you are in control of how you respond), so we have the CHOICE in how we respond to the feedback from our mind – knowing that we exist beyond our mind and beyond our thoughts and that there is a sense of existence and power in the ability to detach from that feedback.
I know this is an unusual concept, but this has been so paramount in my own life. In the past I’ve experienced anxiety and rumination about the past, and limitations and all of those things that you might experience and one of the most useful strategies I’ve employed to date is literally taking a step back and imagining my brain as a mushy sphere of incredible neural pathways and cells that create this astonishing consciousness that we have, but that it is just as mushy and alive as my heart or my lungs and that I am not a victim or a captive to that organ and in an instant I’m able to detach myself from the thoughts in my mind – and tap into my existence and power beyond my mind and tap into that empowering ability to choose my thoughts or at least choose how I relate to my thoughts.
I want to also outline that your thoughts are a combination of neurons firing and creating a reaction – which might be a memory, an opinion, an interpretation, a trigger – and can be positive or negative. But at the end of the day, they are thoughts and they are a depiction of your own unique reality based on your experiences to date – and while they are your own unique reality that does not make your thoughts TRUE. Just because these thoughts or beliefs occur in your mind and may FEEL true, that does not always make them factual and the more that you can separate your thoughts from fact – the even more empowered you will feel to respond to them in a way that is useful for you.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say I think to myself – I’m horrible at podcasting. While that may feel true to me – if I was to ask other people they would hopefully most likely disagree. Therefore my thought becomes a subjective opinion and cannot be described as factual. So the more that I am able to see this in my own thoughts and determine what are actually factual – so if you had a room of 50 people they would all agree on that thought, and what are just my own depiction of what I consider reality. Again, this is such a new way to relate to your thoughts and support yourself to detach from any negative thoughts or beliefs and realise that you don’t ACTUALLY have to believe your thoughts or consider them to be true. That way you can observe your thoughts and tell that mushy brain of yours that ‘actually I’m not sure that’s true brain and I’m choosing not to buy into it’.
So I hope that I’ve been clear in what I’m trying to convey here and you can see that there is a space where you can exist beyond your brain and it’s a space of empowerment, choice and possibility.